China

Macau's former chief prosecutor charged with nearly 2,000 crimes

This picture taken on September 19, 2012 shows gambling machines in the Cotai new Sands casino in Macau. Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Macau, known as the 'Las Vegas of Asia', is a popular gambling destination

The former chief prosecutor in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau has been charged with nearly 2,000 crimes.

Ho Chio-meng is accused of setting up a criminal syndicate, abuse of power, and money laundering.

Relatives and colleagues of the prosecutor - who was once tipped to become Macau's leader - have also been charged.

Macau, a one-time Portuguese colony, is the world's largest gambling centre and has a reputation for crime.

Mr Ho, who was prosecutor general from 1999-2014, was arrested in February while trying to board a ferry to Hong Kong.

The 1,970 charges against him include accusations that he and his associates took kickbacks worth 44 million patacas (£4.3m; $5.5m) from construction projects.

The former official is currently in prison after Macau's top court ruled he might flee the city if granted bail. His trial is set to begin on 5 December.

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